Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the Utah Mighty 5 National Parks and a must-stop on any southwest road trip itinerary. If you’re looking for things to do near Bryce Canyon, look no further! This blog post will provide you with a list of activities and attractions that are in the park, as well as those that are just a short drive away. Whether you’re interested in hiking, biking, horseback riding or sightseeing, we’ve got something for everyone. So pack your bags and get ready for an adventure!
How to Get to Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park is located in southwestern Utah, about 275 miles south of Salt Lake City. The park is most easily accessed via the town of Bryce Canyon, which is located right at the entrance to the park.
There are two regional airports within a reasonable driving distance of the park, including Cedar City Regional Airport (CDC) and St. George Regional Airport (SGU). However, if you are looking for larger airports, your best options are Las Vegas (LAS) and Salt Lake City (SLC), which are both about a 4-hour drive.
In order to have the best experience exploring Bryce Canyon and the surrounding areas, be sure to rent a car at the airport before heading to Bryce Canyon. Public transportation is limited as this area is quite remote.
Where to Stay Near Bryce Canyon National Park
There are plenty of places to stay near Bryce Canyon National Park. The closest option is the Best Western Ruby’s Inn, which offers a variety of room types and amenities. A few kilometers further from the park is the homely Bryce Trails Bed and Breakfast. There are also several campgrounds in the area, as well as BLM land, where you can set up camp for free.
Important Tips for Visiting Southern Utah
Because this is potentially new terrain, here are some important tips for when you visit Southern Utah:
- This is the desert. Drink more water than you normally would. When hiking, consider using a hiking pack with a water bladder, so it makes staying hydrated much easier.
- When you sweat, you lose electrolytes in addition to water; remember to replace these as well. Do this by eating salty snacks or bringing electrolyte tabs or powder to add to your water.
- This is a remote area, and good food is relatively limited. If you have dietary restrictions, be sure to plan ahead. Consider packing a cooler to have in your car.
- Visiting three or more national parks in the next 12 months? Consider buying an America the Beautiful Annual national parks pass. It’s good for one year and costs $80. You want to decide this with the very first park you visit to make sure you get the most use out of it.
- Sunscreen is important even in the winter. Utah has higher than the national average of melanoma. Apply and re-apply.
- You likely will not have cell service in most of the areas in Southern Utah, even on main roads, so don’t plan on it.
- If you are exploring nature, leave the outdoor spaces and trails better than you found them. This is similar to leaving no trace, except you can always help make things better. Pick up trash, follow trails (and avoid the “social trails”), do not carve your name into rocks and trees and be a good human being.
- Regular sneakers may cut it for many hikes; however, consider getting some hiking boots or shoes for better traction.
- Always check in with rangers for the latest information on trails, flash flood risks, road conditions, etc.
- The “AllTrails” app is available for both iOS and Android. This app is helpful for finding hikes. You can also use the routes with your phone on GPS and download trail maps before you leave.
Best Things to do Near Bryce Canyon
Without further ado, here are 11 unmissable things to do near Bryce Canyon National Park.
Visit Bryce Canyon National Park
If you’re looking for a breathtaking adventure, Bryce Canyon National Park is the place for you! With picturesque landscapes and plenty of activities to keep you busy, you’ll never run out of things to do here. Bryce Canyon is higher elevation than many of the surrounding stops, so make sure to bring extra layers when you visit.
A few must-see stops in the park include Navajo Loop Trail, Rim Trail, Bryce Point, Inspiration Point, Sunset Point and Mossy Cave. Horseback riding is also a popular activity in Bryce Canyon, so be sure to bring your cowboy hat and boots!
The entrance fee for Bryce Canyon National Park is $35, and it is good for 7 days. This entrance fee is covered by the America the Beautiful Annual National Parks Pass, which is a great deal if you are planning to visit 3 national parks in 12 months.
Check out Red Canyon
Red Canyon is located just 17 miles from Bryce Canyon National Park, and it is definitely worth a visit. The canyon got its name from the red rock formations that can be found there. These rocks were formed over millions of years and stand out against the green pine trees and junipers in the area.
There are a number of hiking trails in Red Canyon, as well as picnic areas and a visitor center. Many people skip this park due to its proximity to Bryce Canyon National Park, making it less crowded and one of the best places to visit in Utah.
Go for a drive on Scenic Byway 12
The Scenic Byway 12 near Bryce Canyon is one of the most beautiful drives in the world. The road winds through the red rocks and forests of Southern Utah and provides incredible views of the canyon country. There are plenty of places to stop and take photos or just admire the scenery. To explore the best of Byway 12, consider a road trip from Bryce Canyon to Capitol Reef.
There is a bike path that connects Bryce Canyon and the start of the Scenic Byway if you want to explore this area more slowly. You may also want to visit some of the small towns and villages that dot the byway, such as Escalante and Boulder. Visitors can also enjoy hiking and camping in the area.
If you’re looking for things to do near Bryce Canyon National Park, a visit to Kanab, Utah, is a great option. Just a short drive from the park, Kanab is home to some unique attractions of its own, including the Coral Pink Sand Dunes and the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness Area. There’s also plenty of opportunity for outdoor recreation in and around Kanab, including hiking, biking, canyoneering and ATV riding.
The restaurants in Kanab are the best in Southern Utah, and it is the closest to a foodie experience that you will get on your trip. And if you’re looking to explore some of the area’s history and culture, be sure to check out some of the local museums and Native American sites.
Explore Cedar Breaks National Monument
Cedar Breaks National Monument is located just a short distance from Bryce Canyon National Park. The monument offers visitors stunning views of the colorful hoodoos and cliffs that can be found in Bryce Canyon. Cedar Breaks is also home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, elk, and mountain lions.
The entrance fee for Cedar Breaks National Monument is $10 per person, and it is good for 7 days. This entrance fee is covered by the America the Beautiful Annual National Parks Pass, which is a great deal if you are planning to visit 3 national parks in 12 months.
Go Skiing at Brian Head Ski Resort
Brian Head Ski Resort is located just a short drive from Cedar Breaks National Monument. The ski resort offers downhill skiing, snowboarding, and tubing on its nine slopes and two terrain parks. The resort also has a variety of restaurants and shops, as well as a ski school for those who need some help getting started.
If you are visiting outside of the ski season, the resort offers plenty of summer activities, including hiking, biking, fishing, and horseback riding. Brian Head Resort is open for summer activities from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day Weekend. There is also an alpine slide and a climbing wall for the adventurous. Brian Head Resort is the perfect place to spend a summer day in Utah’s mountain scenery.
Visit Cedar City
Just an hour away from Bryce Canyon is Cedar City, Utah. This charming town is home to Southern Utah University and a variety of cultural attractions. If you are already planning a visit to Cedar Breaks National Monument or Brian Head Ski Resort, this is the closest town.
There are several museums in Cedar City, including the Utah Shakespeare Festival and the Frontier Homestead State Park Museum. You can also enjoy live performances at the Heritage Center Theater or take a stroll through downtown Cedar City’s shops and restaurants.
Visit Zion National Park
Zion National Park is located in Springdale, Utah and is less than an hour away from Bryce Canyon National Park. The park features narrow canyons, soaring cliffs and plateaus, and a variety of plants and animals.
Hiking is the most popular activity in the park, with over 150 miles of trails to choose from. There are many different hikes that can be taken in the park, from easy hikes that are family-friendly to more strenuous hikes for those who are more experienced hikers.
Emerald Pools is a hike that is suitable for most hikers and offers beautiful views of the Virgin River and the surrounding canyon. Canyon Overlook is a shorter hike that offers great views of Zion Canyon. The Narrows is a 16-mile hike that follows the Virgin River through a narrow gorge.
One of the most popular hikes in Zion is the hike to Angel’s Landing, which offers beautiful views of the park. This hike does require a permit. Other activities include camping, fishing, horseback riding, river rafting and biking.
The entrance fee for Zion National Park is $35, and it is good for 7 days. This entrance fee is covered by the America the Beautiful Annual National Parks Pass, which is a great deal if you are planning to visit 3 national parks in 12 months.
Visit Kodachrome Basin State Park
Kodachrome Basin State Park is located about 15 miles from Bryce Canyon National Park, and it is one of the best state parks in Utah. The park gets its name from the Kodachrome film, popular in the 1940s and 50s. The cliffs and buttes in the park are a colorful mix of red, orange, and yellow. There are also a few areas of green vegetation. Hiking and horseback riding are popular activities in the park.
The fee to visit Kodachrome Basin State Park is $10 per vehicle. This is not covered under the national parks pass. Instead, it is covered under the Utah State Parks pass, which has an annual fee of $100 for Utah state residents and $150 for non-Utah state residents.
Escalante, UT is a small town located just south of Bryce Canyon National Park. There are several things to do in Escalante, including hiking, exploring the canyons, and fishing. One of the most popular hikes in the area is the Calf Creek Falls hike, which leads to a beautiful waterfall. There are also several other hiking trails in the area that offer incredible views of the surrounding landscape.
If you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous, be sure to check out some of the canyons in Escalante. The canyons are full of narrow slot canyons that provide a unique and challenging experience for hikers. Make sure to watch the weather before entering slot canyons, as flash floods can be deadly. Hire a guide if you are inexperienced.
For those looking to enjoy some time outdoors without having to work too hard, fishing is a great option in Escalante. The town is located on the Escalante River, which is home to a variety of fish, including trout and bass.
Explore Petrified Forest State Park
Petrified Forest State Park is a beautiful and unique place to visit near Bryce Canyon National Park. The park is home to large pieces of petrified wood that have been turned to stone over time.
There are also numerous fossils on display in the park, making it a popular destination for history buffs and nature lovers alike. Visitors can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities in the park, including hiking, camping, and fishing. Petrified Forest State Park is a must-see for anyone visiting the Bryce Canyon area.
The fee to visit Petrified Forest State Park is $10 per vehicle. This is not covered under the national parks pass. Instead, it is covered under the Utah State Parks pass, which has an annual fee of $100 for Utah state residents and $150 for non-Utah state residents.
Best Things to do near Bryce Canyon
Bryce Canyon National Park is a beautiful park located in Southern Utah. Visiting this park and other places near Bryce Canyon will make for an epic adventure trip. Have you visited Bryce Canyon? Is it on your bucket list?
About the Author
Story and images by Andrea Cannon from Our Beautahful World (unless otherwise credited)
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